underdog DREAMS is a response by a collaborative team of health care professionals to the dismal lack of real-life solutions and support available to Florida’s foster youth.
Fueled by the determination to provide foster youth with a fighting chance at healthy, successful and meaningful lives, we have come together to help them navigate their complex realities.
We provide complete and continuous care to ensure healthy body and mind. We teach them ways to cope with the changes that have become their norm – households, healthcare providers, schools and communities.
And, we develop tools and skills to help them compete and succeed. For example, we partner with First Star Central Florida Academy, University of Central Florida Foundation, and Community Based Care of Central Florida to make this happen. Programs include career preparedness, first-hand exposure to a broad range of professional opportunities, public speaking and advocacy training and other critical life skills that could open doors of opportunity.
We do everything we can to meet these foster youths where they are – from community events to individual Skype sessions, from home visits to school settings – because experience has shown us that if we are to be effective, we have to be relevant to their everyday lives. We are nimble in our approach, tailoring services to meet and anticipate the needs of the youth we aim to serve.
You can see this approach come to life at our summer programs. We design these programs to provide sustainable and meaningful skills needed prepare foster youth to compete and succeed in the workforce. For example, we have internship programs that expose them to a broad range of workplace settings. We work to ensure technology is integrated throughout so they may have the tools and training needed to pursue 21st Century jobs.
We exist to provide some of the most vulnerable members of our society the opportunity to imagine the possibilities, see a future filled with purpose, and live with intention.
We offer a coordinated and comprehensive approach to meet and anticipate the needs of every foster youth and child welfare system. These include:
Integrated physical and mental health wellness curriculum, programs and activities.
8-Week foster youth fitness curriculum and training
Experiential learning programs and activities
Leadership development and job readiness
Digital cognitive assessments
Technology solutions (virtual reality, drones and photography
Trauma informed psychosocial education trainings and workshops